to kill a mockingbird (study guide)

Atticus Finch He was the father of his son, Jem, and his daughter, Jean Louise (Scout). He worked as a lawyer. He is Scouts father and is one of the most well known people in Maycomb. He is a lawyer and in the first years of practice studied Economics. He also supported and helped get his brother through Medical school. He was born in Maycomb and was related to almost everyone in Maycomb.
Jean Louise (Scout) Atticus’ daughter. She is currently nine (9) years old, and is Jem’s sister. In addition, To Kill a Mockingbird is told in her point of view. Also, She has earned the nickname “Scout”. She is six years old when the story starts. Her mother died when she was about 2 years old at the time.
Jem Finch He is currently thirteen years old at the time. He is Atticus’ son, and Scout’s brother. In addition,He likes to play football. Broke his arm- start of story and end of story. His full name is Jeremy and he is four years older than his sister Scout.
Maycomb This is the town that the Finch’s live in up to this point in the story. It is located in the state of Alabama.It is the name of the town (and also the county) where the story takes place
Calpurnia She is a Black cook that works for the Finch’s. She is very educated, and she taught Scout how to read and write in cursive. In addition to being a cook, She was also somewhat of a nanny, and Jem and Scout always had to listen to her. all bones, nearsighted squinted and had hands were as wide as a bed. She had been with the family from the time Jem was born.
Charles Baker (Dill) Harris He is Rachel Haverford’s Nephew. Up to this point, he is currently six years old, going on seven. he can read and he currently lives in the state of Mississippi. Furthermore, he has earned the nickname “Dill”, and his mother works as a photographer. has no father. plays with them in summertime.
The Radley Place The Radley Place was where the Radley family had lived. The house appears very dark and weird. The family consists of Mr. and Mrs. Radley, and their son, Arthur. Arthur has earned the nickname “Boo”. In addition, the Radley’s live across from the Finch’s house, and they live differently than other neighbors. It was around the corner from Scouts house. It was ars were closed on Sunday. has a big oak tree out is a curio low house with a deep front porch and green shutters and had darkened to the dark gray yard around it. Their shuttesity to the children because the Radleys are so different from other folks they know.
Stephanie Crawford She is a gossipy neighbor who made rumors about the Radley’s. is the neighborhood scolder who is ready to talk about anyone and anywhere. She says she knows a gossipy neighbor who knows everybody’s business and everyone’s family history.
Arthur (Boo) Radley Arthur Radley was kept in his house (The Radley Place) at all times. After he stabbed his father with scissors, Arthur was not seen again for fifteen years, since he was kept under house-arrest for most of that time. In addition to getting in trouble with the law, Arthur was also punished by his father, Mr. Radley. As a result, Arthur Radley has earned the nickname “Boo”, as stated earlier. saves jem in the end. is the Radley son that never comes out. He was once found in the wrong crowd of friends and was sent to industrial school. After he came back he was not allowed outside because his father did not want him making trouble. is a mystery to the children; he never leaves his house
Miss Caroline Fisher She is Scout’s first grade teacher. Miss Fisher was twenty-one years old at the time, and she is from Northern Alabama. Apparently, Miss Caroline Fisher is upset with Scout since she is smarter that Miss. Fisher’s class.
Walter Cunningham Walter is a part of the Cunningham’s, a very poor family in Maycomb, Alabama. The Cunningham’s eat anything they find, and are not considered “company” by Scout. never took anything they couldn’t pay back.
Burris Ewell Burris is a child that is also poor. He is rarely clean, and he only shows up for school on the first day. In addition, if Ewell doesn’t get what he wants, he will get angry. Furthermore, he owns a pet rat. He is also in Scouts class and has cootie in his hair. He does not know how to spell his own name, because the cootie, Miss Caroline sends him home with a remedy to wash his hair with kerosene. He leaves and tells the teacher he is not coming back.
What did Dill dare Jem to do? dill dared jem to touch the radley house because most people are afraid to even knock on the door.
What was Scout’s first “crime” at school? Scouts first “crime” at school was that the teacher, Miss Caroline Fisher, said Atticus must have taught Scout before she entered first grade ant thats bad. She was literate.
What was Calpurnia’s fault? Calpurnia’s fault was she taught Scout how to write in cursive, Scout is annoyed about this because she gets in trouble with Miss. Caroline Fisher. Miss. Caroline told Scout to tell her father to stop teaching her.
Why did Scout rub Walter Cunningham’s nose in the dirt? Scout rubbed Walters nose in the dirt because Scout got in trouble with Miss. Carolina for explaining Walters way of life. Scout stood up for Walter in class and tried to explain the Cunningham ways to MissCaroline. For her explanations, Scout got in more trouble with Miss Caroline, so she took out her revenge on Walter.
Scout said, “He aint company, Cal, hes just a Cunningham.” What did she mean by that, and what was Cal’s answer? When Scout says “He aint company, Cal, hes just a Cunningham” she means that since Walter was poor and didn’t have as much as the Finch’s, Scout did not view the Cunningham’s as normal people. Therefore, Scout viewed Walter as poor and not company in her home and that he was not a guest and that Walter was nobody. that Finches were better than Cunninghams, and for that reason she didn’t have to treat Walter as company. Calpurnia told Scout that she should treat anyone who came to visit her home as “company” and show him every courtesy to respect anyone who came in the house regardless of who comes to the home they are company. Calpurnia told Scout to eat in the kitchen, and then she smacked Scout in the face.
What two mistakes did Miss. Carolina make on the first day of school? Miss Caroline’s first mistake was to offer Walter Cunningham money; the Cunninghams don’t take anything they can’t pay back. Her second mistake was trying to tell Burris Ewell to go home and wash out his “cooties.” Burris got angry and threatened Miss Caroline Fisher. He was also screaming at her as well. After that, Burris walked out of the school.
Why didnt the Ewells have to go to school? Ewells didnt have to go to school because they were members of their own society, and the townspeople of Maycomb let them bypass certain state and government laws. the father did not care if they went or not as long as they worked in the fields. And the whole family broke rules.If the truant officer enforced the laws for the Ewells, Mr. Ewell would probably be jailed. Without their father, wretched as he was, the children would be worse off than if they simply did not go to school. Because the Ewell children’s home life was so unusual, the authorities bent the rules for them.
What did Scout and Jem find in the Radley’s tree? Scout and Jem find two sticks of chewing gum wrapped in tinfoil. and two Indian head pennies
Identify Mrs. Dubose. Mrs. Dubose is an old lady who lives down the street. She berates the children as they walk past her house. Everyone agreed she was the meanest old woman who had ever lived. Jem wouldn’t go near her house without Atticus with him.
How did Jem get even with Scout for contradiciting him about “Hot Steams?” When it was her turn to ride in the tire, he gave her an extra-hard shove. She ended up in the Radleys’ front yard.
What was the Boo Radley game? Jem, Dill and Scout reenacted the few facts and many peculiar stories they had heardabout the Radleys. The Boo Radley game was similar to a skit. further into the game, scout quit.
Idenitfy Miss. Maudie Miss Maudie is another neighbor, about the age of Atticus. She is open-minded andenjoys the children’s company. lady influence for scout. loved to plant.
What does Miss Maudie think of the Radleys? She thinks they have a right to do whatever they want to do as long as they are notbothering anyone else, and she believes they have a right to their privacy.Miss Maudie thinks of the Radley’s as very religious people, since Mr. Radley is a foot-washing Baptist.
Why do Dill and Jem want to give Boo Radley a note? What does Atticus say when he finds out about their plan? They want to invite him out to play with them; they think he might enjoy that. Atticustells the boys to leave Arthur Radley alone, that if he wanted to be outside, he would.Atticus also tells them that the proper way to extend the invitation would be at theRadley front door instead of putting a note on a fishing pole and sticking that throughthe window. they want Boo to come out so Dill and Jem can ask him a few questions. In return, Dill and Jem would give him ice cream.
How did Jem lose his pants? What did he find when he went back for them? Jem, Scout and Dill went to look into the Radley house. When they were discovered, theyran. Jem got caught on the fence, and in an effort to free himself, he took off his pantsand left them on the fence. When he went back for them, they were mended and folded,sitting on the fence.
What else did Jem and Scout find in the Radley’s tree? They found a ball of twine, two figures (resembling themselves) carved from soap, and abroken watch, a full pack of gum, a spelling bee trophy.
Why would there be no more suprises in the tree? Mr. Nathan Radley cemented the hole closed. When Jem and Scout asked Mr. Radley why he filled up the knothole, he said the tree was sick. However, Atticus looked at the tree and it looked healthy, according to Atticus.
Identify Cecil Jacobs Cecil Jacobs was a boy at Scout’s school who first made her aware that Atticus wasdefending a black man.
What “disaster” happened at Christmas between Scout and Francis? Scout and Francis got into a fight because Francis was fussing with Scout about Atticus’s defending a black man. Scout couldn’t stand all the things Francis was calling Atticus, so she hit him square in the mouth. She didn’t really understand what Francis said, but she knew it wasn’t complimentary.
What did Scout’s Uncle Jack learn from Scout and Atticus? Uncle Jack broke up the fight between Scout and Francis. He automatically took Francis’ side. Since Francis was injured, he looked like the wronged party. Scout just gave in to Uncle Jack and said she did what he said she did. Later, she points out to Jack that he didn’t even give her a chance to explain, that Atticus always listens to both sides before he decides which person is guilty. Secondly, when Scout asks Uncle Jack a question, he gives her a non-answer. Atticus later explains to Jack that such answers only confuse kids. The truth is always best
What brave thing does Atticus do in Chapter 10? Why are Scout and Jem shocked? Atticus shoots a mad dog. They are shocked because until this day, they think of Atticus as having no real talents or anything to be proud of. He never touched a gun, to their knowledge, and he did not believe in fighting. Thus, they are very surprised to find out about “One-Shot Finch.”
What did Jem do when Mrs. Dubose said Atticus “lawed for ******s?” He took Scout’s birthday baton and, waving it madly, cut the tops off of all of Mrs. Dubose’s camellia bushes.
What was Jem’s punishment? He had to repair the damage as well as he could, and he had to read to Mrs. Dubose each afternoon after school for a month.
What did Jem learn from his encounter with Mrs. Dubose and following her death? He learned that people aren’t always what they seem, that one can’t understand someone else until one has all the facts, and, most importantly, that there is a different kind of courage than physical courage.
What happened to Miss Maudies house? What was her reaction? Miss Maudie left fires going (for warmth) and her house burned down. As always, sheput her most optimistic foot forward and seemed not to mind too much.
How does Jem change? Jem is growing up. He is trying to make sense of things he sees, trying to be like Atticus,and trying to put behind him childish games and youthful pranks. Consequently, he ismoody sometimes and occasionally seems to lord his authority over Scout. She resentshis new “airs.”
Identify Lula, Zeebo and Reverend Sykes. Lula was the woman at Calpurnia’s church who made Scout and Jem feel unwelcome.Zeebo, Cal’s son, makes them feel welcome garbage collector and reads hymns for people to repeat as does Reverend Sykes, the preacher atCalpurnia’s church.
What does Scout learn about Calpurnia? Scout learns that Cal leads a double life. She talks and acts like her black friends andneighbors when she is with them, and she talks and acts more like white people when sheis with them. Scout thinks this is interesting and asks to visit Cal at her home one day.
Who was waiting for the children when they came home from the church service? Why hadshe come? Aunt Alexandra was waiting for them. She had come to stay and “help out” while Atticuswould be busy with the Robinson trial. She was too be scouts role model
“Aunt Alexandra fitted into the world of Maycomb like a hand in a glove, but never into the world of Jem and me.” Explain. Alexandra knew all the proper social things to say and do, and she knew a great deal ofthe history of the local families. She joined some clubs and entertained at her home, andgenerally did fit right into the town’s society. However, Alexandra didn’t understand oragree with the values by which Atticus was raising his children. Therefore, she did notunderstand the children’s behavior. Because their value systems were different, they weremore often than not at odds.
Atticus and Alexandra disagree about how to deal with the children. How does Atticus handlethe situation? Atticus makes the children obey Alexandra, but he lets them know that their relationshipwith him will always be the same as it was. He tries to appease Alexandra when he can,but on the major issues, he puts his foot down.
Describe Jem and Scout’s relationship through these chapters as Jem matures. Jem and Scout seem to grow apart, but they don’t really. They fuss more often than theyhad, mostly because Scout resents Jem’s telling her what to do. Actually, though, they arestill very close and join forces when their pride is at stake.
Why did Dill run away from home back to Maycomb? Dill had everything a boy could want, except his parents didn’t spend any time with him.He didn’t feel like they needed him.
What did Mr. Heck Tate’s mob want? They wanted to make sure Atticus and Tom Robinson would be all right.
What was the purpose of Walter Cunningham’s mob? Cunningham’s mob wanted to get to Tom Robinson to inflict their own justice upon him.If that meant they had to beat up Atticus, they were willing to do that.
Why did Mr. Cunningham’s mob leave? Scout, Jem and Dill arrived on the scene. Scout came forward, and, while making herentrance and looking at the crowd, she noticed Mr. Cunningham. She identified him andbegan speaking to him on a personal basis, saying she was in his son’s class and that hehad come to lunch. She also reminded him that Atticus had done some legal work forhim. All of these things were said in an innocent conversation to Mr. Cunningham. Itmade Cunningham (and others, I suspect), realize that they were individuals, neighbors,and that they really didn’t want to hurt Atticus or anyone else.
Identify Mr. Dolphus Raymond. Mr. Dolphus Raymond was a white man who married a black woman and lived with theblack community. Jem has heard a story that Mr. Raymond is always drunk. (However,we learn later that this is just an act.)
Identify Tom Robinson, Mr. Gilmer, Bob Ewell, Mayella Ewell, and Judge Taylor. Tom Robinson supposedly raped Mayella Ewell, Bob Ewell’s daughter. Mr. Gilmer is theprosecuting attorney. Judge Taylor will be the judge during Tom’s trial.
What was the importance of Mayella’s bruises being primarily on the right-hand side of herface? Bruises on her right side indicate that a left-handed person inflicted the wounds.
What was Mayella’s account of the incident with Tom Robinson? Mayella said she asked Tom to come into the yard to break up a chiffarobe. When shewent into the house to get him a nickel, he had followed her in and then he grabbed heraround the neck and hit her. He “chunked [her] on the floor an’ choked [her] ‘n tookadvantage of [her].” Her father came in and was standing over her, and then she fainted.
What was Tom’s side of the story? Mayella asked Tom to come fix the hinges on the door in the house. Mayella had savedenough nickels to send all of the kids out for ice cream so she and Tom would be alone.She asked Tom to climb up on a chair to get a box, and as he stood there, she grabbedhim around the legs. When he hopped down off the chair, she jumped on him. She kissedhim on the side of the face. Tom wanted out and had to push Mayella away from thedoor. She was not hurt. He ran away before Mr. Ewell could catch him.
What was Tom’s handicap? Why was it important to his case? . Tom’s left arm had been rendered useless in an accident. He could not have bruisedMayella’s right side and he more than probably would not have physically been able toforce himself on a strong, violently resisting young woman.
What do Dill and Scout learn from Mr. Raymond? Dill and Scout learn that people aren’t always as they appear to be. They learn that Mr.Raymond lives as he does because that’s simply what he wants to do. Since people couldnever accept that, he gives them a “reason to latch onto” so they can accept his behavior.(One might note that Boo Radley does as he pleases, but gives people no reason to latchonto, and people make up their own reasons, no matter how ridiculous.)
What were Atticus’ closing remarks to the jury? He said there was no medical evidence to suggest that Mayella had been raped, that theonly evidence was the questionable testimony of two witnesses. He painted a picture ofMayella as a victim of poverty and ignorance, a lonely young woman who tempted andkissed a Negro and then had to get rid of him, the evidence, of her crime against society’sunspoken laws. He tried to remind the jury of Thomas Jefferson’s words that “all men arecreated equal,” and that their job as a jury was to give a fair trial to the defendant.
What was the jury’s verdict? The jury found Tom Robinson guilty.
Why did Jem cry? Jem cried because he was shocked at the injustice of the jury, people from his own town,which he had always considered above such prejudice.
What was ” ’round the back steps” when Calpurnia came in on Monday morning? The black community had left all kinds of food for Atticus and his family as a gesture oftheir thanks for his defending Tom Robinson.
What was the significance of Maudie’s two little cakes and one large one? Maudie had two little cakes for Scout and Dill, but Jem got a slice from the big cake.This was Maudie’s symbolic way of saying she accepted Jem as a young man instead ofa boy.
Describe Bob Ewell’s meeting with Atticus at the post office. Bob Ewell wanted to fight with Atticus. Atticus just said he was too old to fight, and hewalked away. Bob Ewell threatened to get even.
What is Atticus’ reaction to Ewell’s threats? He rationally understands that Ewell is upset, and he allows Mr. Ewell the right to beupset. However, he does not believe that Bob Ewell would actually do any terriblephysical harm to anyone.
Alexandra doesn’t want Scout playing with Walter Cunningham. Why not? Alexandra thinks the Cunninghams are trash because they don’t have the “background”of the Finches.
Jem said, “I think I’m beginning to understand why Boo Radley’s stayed shut up in the houseall this time . . . it’s because he wants to stay inside.” Why does he say that? The world is starting to look mighty complicated to Jem. The jury decision, all the talkabout social class and the problem of what exactly “background” means, and Mr.Raymond’s false drinking problem are all weighing on his mind, and he’s trying to getthings all sorted out with nice, neat definitions. He is learning that things in the real worldjust aren’t easy to sort-out and understand.
Mrs. Merriweather of the missionary circle complains about her cooks and field hands. Whatdoes that tell us about her? As a member of the missionary circle, she is very concerned about the personal welfareof many Africans, but in her own back yard, Mrs. Merriweather is as prejudiced as shecan be.
What happened to Tom Robinson? Tom was shot when he tried to escape from prison.
What more do we learn about Alexandra after Atticus and Calpurnia leave? Alexandra is given a more rounded personality in this section. We see clearly for the firsttime that she loves and is concerned for her brother. We see her take the news of Tom’sdeath with great difficulty, yet she gathers herself together and carries on with her guests.She seems a bit more human and a bit more noble than she has been painted prior to this.
What did Mr. Underwood’s editorial say? He likened Tom’s death to the senseless slaughter of songbirds by hunters and children.
What was Scout’s fantasy regarding Arthur (Boo) Radley? She daydreamed that Boo would be sitting in the swing and they would chat as if theyhad chatted every day for all their lives. She wanted him to be “normal” like everyoneelse on the street.
What did Scout hear Miss Gates say at the courthouse? n class, Miss Gates said, “That’s thedifference between America and Germany. We are a democracy and Germany is a dictatorship.. . . We don’t believe in persecuting anybody. Persecution comes from people who areprejudiced.” What does this tell us about Miss Gates?Scout heard Miss Gates at the courthouse saying that “it’s time somebody taught ’em alesson, they were gettin’ way above themselves, an’ the next thing they think they can dois marry us.” Miss Gates is either a hypocrite or has not stopped to recognize that she isjust as prejudiced as Hitler was, although for a different group of people.
What happened to Judge Taylor? Someone (Bob Ewell, we assume) was breaking into the judge’s house when the judgeand his dog frightened him away.
What happened to Helen Robinson? Helen Robinson walked the long way around to work to avoid the Ewell house becausethey “chunked at her” when she used the public road. Mr. Link Deas escorted Helen onthe public road and threatened the Ewells. After that she had no trouble.
What was Scout’s part in the pageant? She was to be a ham. Her ham costume would later save her life.
Why did Scout and Jem not leave the school until almost everyone else had gone? Scout was embarrassed because she fell asleep, came on stage late during the pageant andruined Mrs. Merriweather’s program.
What happened to Jem and Scout on the way home from the pageant? Someone attacked them. Scout got tangled in her costume, someone knocked out Jem,there was a struggle and then Scout saw someone carrying Jem home.
Who saved Jem and Scout? Who killed Bob Ewell? Arthur (Boo) Radley saved Jem and Scout and he killed Bob Ewell.
Why did Heck Tate insist that Bob Ewell fell on his own knife? Heck figured out that Arthur had killed Bob Ewell, and he saw no sense in dragging the”hero” through a nasty, public ordeal. He thought it would be better to “let the dead burythe dead.”
Scout arranged things so that “if Miss Stephanie Crawford was watching from her upstairswindow, she would see Arthur Radley escorting [her] down the sidewalk, as any gentlemanwould do.” Why did she do that? Scout now understands that Arthur Radley is a real person, not a freak. She wants him, inhis public appearance, to look “normal” so that Miss Stephanie and (through MissStephanie’s gossip) the rest of the town will begin to think of him as a real person, too.
As Scout leaves the Radley porch, she looks out at the neighborhood and recounts the events of the last few years from the Radleys’ perspective. Why is that important? All through the book, she (and Jem and Dill) have been, at various times, taking Atticus’advice and putting themselves in someone else’s shoes, looking at things from someoneelse’s perspective. Each time they do this, they learn something new. It is appropriate thatnear the conclusion of the novel, Scout takes the most difficult stance of looking throughthe world from Arthur Radley’s perspective.

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